April 29, 2019

DIY Shelves + Playroom Corner Transformation!

I've seen similar DIY's for picture shelves/book shelves in the past. I decided to just go for it in my own way and I have loved the outcome! In our new home, we have big, tall walls. Naturally, I want to fill them but I hate going overboard and having so many "flat" pieces - picture frames, wall hangings... you get the idea. In order to create some dimension and use the space to it's full potential, I thought these picture shelves would be perfect in the girl's playroom! Bonus, it cost under $25 - that's about $6 per shelf!

All material was bought at Home Depot, those are the prices you will see at their store!

2 - 1 x 4 x 8 Furring Strip Board, cut in half ($2.68/board)
2 - 1 x 2 x 8 Furring Strip Board, cut in half ($1.12/board)
4 4ft. Pieces of 1/4 in x 1 1/2 in Solid Pine Moulding (69¢/foot)
Wood Stain of your choosing! I used "Special Walnut" by Varathane ($4.98)
EZ Anchor Twist-n-Lock 50 lbs ($5.47)
Grit 60 Sanding Paper

Sand down any fraying in the wood or areas that need some love. Start with your biggest piece, the 1x4, and set the 1x2 up against it sitting up against the skinniest part of the 1x4. Once you have it in place, nail it in. If you have a nail gun, that makes this process a lot smoother!

On the opposite end of the 1x4, set up your moulding piece. Nail it in place. Repeat steps for all shelves. 

Using a spade bit or drill bit just the size of your screws, create two holes into the 1x2. This is the piece that will be up against the wall and hold the shelf up in order to create the "floating" look. 

Stain or seal your wood and let it sit for at least 48 hours, or per the instructions on the label. 

The rest is pretty self-explanatory! Hang them up using your anchor kit and boom! You have a beautiful picture or book shelf!  

Since moving into our house, the playroom has been just a room with a couch and toys on the ground. This is the first room when you walk into our house so I wanted it to be cozy but still playful! Creating these shelves was the perfect choice for this corner of the playroom and I'm thrilled with how they turned out. & yes, I do realize I left the hammer on one of the shelves... oh well! 

I love that now we can keep Nova's books up high so we can avoid any future ripping-sprees! Inspiring my kids to read is so important to me. Nova shows so much interest and reads through a huge stack of books every day! It makes my heart sing! Having this space encourages the love of reading and I can't wait to see how it continues to fill up. We may even need to make more shelves in the future!

Nova is already enjoying it! I'll post a full playroom reveal hopefully before baby sister arrives. It's been my focus room this week and we are nearly done! Stay tuned for that :)

April 25, 2019

Fears of Having Two Under Two

Growing up, I begged my mom for a younger sibling. I am the youngest of five, with huge age gaps. By the time my sister closest in age to me was off to college, I was still learning how to navigate middle school. Even with this being my upbringing, I never imagined having my children so close in age. To be fair, I never really imagined about my children beyond the fact that I knew I wanted them!

If this baby comes around their due date, Nova and her baby sister will be about 21 months apart. So, I will only have two under two for about 3 months but it still scares the crap out of me! With how demanding Nova is now for my attention, I worry about being able to care for the baby and her without stretching myself too thin. I worry about how Nova is going to treat the baby and if she will understand to be soft with her. I worry that I'll be able to do enough and be enough for now two children. It terrifies me.

However, I haven't allowed those fears to fester or to take hold of me. Instead, I'm focusing on the positive and constantly reminding myself that I've been through it already! I now know what it is like to have a newborn so mentally preparing for it is a little more realistic than it was with my first. I recently read a blog post over at sleepingshouldbeeasy.com that helped put some of my fears at ease! You can find the exact article here: How to Balance the Needs of Both Toddler and Newborn

Aside from the fears and preparation, I am so grateful for this little rainbow baby. I'm so grateful for Nova and I can't wait for her to become a big sister! Being a mom is quite possibly the most challenging, terrifying thing I have ever experienced. But being a mom is also the most beautiful and wonderful experience of my life. I wouldn't trade this season of my life for anything!

I also just can't wait to read this back in a few months or a year and compare this to my reality! Should be interesting ;)

April 8, 2019

n o v a : e i g h t e e n | m o n t h s

I actually cannot believe that my little baby is already a year and a half! This has been such a fun and challenging age. It makes the newborn phase seem like a breeze, honestly. There are tantrums, lots of food prep, giggles, new skills and developments. It's been a joy watching Nova learn something new every single day! She now knows somewhere between 20-25 words that she says consistently! My personal favorites are "please", "welcome" (you're welcome) and "lob u" (i love you). She has the sweetest little voice.

She has been sleeping really well up until recently. It may be the big leaps in cognitive learning she's been going through or maybe just because she has become more aware, we're not sure. She sleeps really well once she is asleep but putting her down is a whole other story! Honestly, I can't complain too much. We rarely have to get up in the middle of the night with her, which is a blessing! We're pushing her bedtime back a bit and involving more wind-down time before she lays down and hopefully that helps - I'll keep you posted on that. Fingers crossed for us!

My absolute favorite things about Nova is her strength and love. She wants to show affection to all of her stuffed animals, the characters in books and especially mama and dada. Her hugs are tight and a bit aggressive and her kisses have advanced to puckered lips - I'm obsessed! Nova is truly the strongest little toddler I've ever met. Not in terms of physical strength so much as emotional. Usually, if she falls or trips, she's quick to get back up and continue doing whatever it was that she was doing. She still has her moments, don't get me wrong. She is only eighteen months old! But I'm going to enjoy the lack of drama while it lasts ;)

| h e r  l a s t  f e w  m o n t h s |

 favorite foods: blueberries, frozen peas, colby jack cheese, mango spinach smoothies, ranch veggie straws, chicken nuggets and any treat that mama lets her have a bite of!

 transitioned to one two-hour nap a day and thriving!

 loves when mama takes pictures - she poses and says "cheeeese!"

 learning how to use forks and spoons but still enjoys using her cute hands 

 going to the park, kissing mama's tummy (baby sister) and watching sesame street are her favorite things!

 pulls up a chair to the kitchen counter to help mama make dinner or cookies!

 loves to play with her car collection and organizes them in a line with dada

 climbs on everything but luckily hasn't been able to escape her crib just yet ;)

 is happiest with a snack and coloring book in her hands!

The thing I want to remember the most about Nova at this age is her curiosity and courage. She's so brave but also really knows her limits which is something that I'm certain will change but right now, it is really amazing to watch. I love watching her play with her little baby buddies and dance to every single song that has ever played! Nova Violet is so full of personality - it's hard to keep up with her! Most of all, I love this time with her. Just the three of us. We are so excited to have little sister here in the summer but for now, we are really enjoying our time with Nova. She is going to be an amazing big sister and I know my heart is going to double in size watching her love little sister! My little girl won't be so little anymore and she really isn't now. But I can truthfully say that with everyday that passes, I'm grateful to have another one full of new adventures and kisses! 

April 1, 2019

Pregnancy Update: Beginning of Third Trimester

Creeping into the third trimester and feelin' it! At the beginning of this pregnancy, I felt great. Zero nausea, hardly any issues sleeping or feeling pregnant. Now, I really FEEL it! My stomach is about the size it was when I was about to give birth the first time, which I truthfully can't believe I can get any bigger. Being pregnant with a toddler running around me is unreal. Even though I've been struggling with a high-risk pregnancy, insomnia and a crazy amount of Braxton Hicks, I am so grateful for my little rainbow baby. She is growing and thriving just as she is supposed to and that is a huge blessing! I'm constantly having to remind myself to avoid wishing the time away. Enjoying this precious time with Nova as an only child is so important to me. 

Anyways, two weeks ago, I asked all of you to send me any questions you have about this pregnancy so thank you for all of the questions to help with the update! I took all of them and put them into a general group of questions, just because there were a lot of repeats!

She is a little more than two pounds, about the size of a fennec fox apparently! She definitely feels bigger though. My stomach is HUGE. I’m just about as big as I was at 37-38 weeks with Nova. It’s hard to imagine my stomach stretching anymore. She is measuring on track for the very end of June!

Yes! We actually have a full name picked out but we won’t commit or share it until we meet her :)

Hahahah definitely not. But honestly, it’s impossible to fully prepare for a baby’s arrival. However, if she came earlier than her due date, we would be fine. I got a Graco Dreamglider to go by my side of the bed for $100 off at Target! This was a really exciting purchase because we only had a pack n play for Nova. I’ll start buying diaper for her pretty soon but other than that, we are pretty covered! Having two girls so close makes things slightly easier ;)

 Something about Nova that I am so grateful for is her ability to adjust to change. I really don’t have much that I’m doing other than talking about the baby and showing her where baby will sleep. She is going to be the best big sister! Every day she asks about her “baby” and gives my belly kisses! She carries around the baby doll I had as a child and gives it all the hugs and kisses - it gets me so excited to see her love on baby sister! 

Yes and no. In my case, it just depends on the day and how much energy I have! I have strict instructions from my doctor to not lift Nova too often and to avoid using the stairs on our third floor apartment. This makes things more challenging but we are moving into a house soon so that will definitely help a ton! Nova is the best though. She is so forgiving when I’m unable to play for long periods of time. We are just taking day-by-day!

The best advice I can offer is to do what's best for you. Everyone's bodies, lifestyles and circumstances are different - no two pregnancies are the same. Take it easy and listen to your body! If you feel like you need to walk around, walk around. If you feel like your body is telling you to rest, rest! If you feel like you need a cookie, girl - eat a freakin' cookie. If you feel like something is wrong, call your doctor. You are growing a human!! Trust your body and your gut. Also, maternity pillows are a life-changing investment!